Gabriel Ngo

December 28, 2023

Legal Check: Pet Business

Scenario: Stewart Spector is a fourth-generation owner-operator of Spector & Steinberger Funeral & Cremation Services in Smyrna, Georgia. The business changed to its current name from its original name of Spector & Sons Funeral Home in early 2010 when Stewart’s key employee, Nell (“Nelly”) Steinberger, bought into the business. This was also the year that Stewart and Nell started their pet end-of-life service business, Rainbow Bridge Pets, since both were animal lovers as well. Spurred on by Nelly’s passion for the environment and greener alternatives, they decided to make the investment and offer only flameless cremation for their pet families, installing only a resomator in their newly built facilities. Because both Stewart and Nelly believed so much in flameless cremation or aquamation/alkaline hydrolysis as a “greener” alternative to flamed cremation as well as it being a “gentler” process, it was […]
November 28, 2023

Scaling the Technology Iceberg

Key Indicators to Elevate Your Virtual Presence In my last Memento Mori article, I wrote about the growing and essential importance of having your website truly be your virtual business as well as how online reviews are now more crucial than ever. However, that is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Relating your virtual business website to your physical location—and the general physical concepts regarding “curb appeal” and “location, location, location” being such vital components in real life—there are foundations you should understand to help ensure that you avoid “not standing out” and “being invisible” in a busy marketplace as the Seth Godin quote so eloquently captures. There are approximately 5.18 billion internet users in 2023 (versus a world population of about 8.1 billion)— that is 64% of ALL people on this earth utilizing the internet in some form […]
July 27, 2023

On the Hunt

Putting together a winning team employing hourly workers and part-timers as a solid foundation. “Culture is defined and created from the top down, but it comes to life from the bottom up.” – Mike Smith, former Atlanta Falcons head coach and 2008 NFL coach of the year You’re probably already thinking that this quote is all well and good, but who has time for culture when your business is short a li-censed staffer or two (if you operate a larger business) and the other licensed staff is on vacation this week? I get it. Businesses across all professions and industries have been battling staffing shortages and talent retention challenges. To that extent, funeral home businesses are no exception. They are not only part of the rule but also have licensing requirement issues (in some states, dual licensing) to contend with […]
July 27, 2023

Your Website Can Be the ‘Apple Store’ of Deathcare

Upping Your Game as a Virtual Business “HARD CONVERSATIONS” and “NORMALIZING DISCOMFORT” are two concepts that funeral, cremation, and cemetery professionals handle and deal with daily. We all recognize the ideal of “being your best on the family’s worst day,” or something very similar, and take it as a rule in serving the families who come to us. Certainly, we all have been called on and have exemplified this in person through various aspects of serving families who need our services. But how do we continue to do this (much less do it better) in a “brave new world” where more and more consumers depend on the internet—whether it be in educating themselves before deciding or by reading reviews from other client families when deciding about choosing your firm? I published an article on e-commerce in the July 2022 issue […]
June 27, 2023

Legal Reality Check: Understanding Pre-Need Contracts

Legal Reality Check: Case Study #5 Scenario: Peter Smith is a third-generation owner-operator of P. R. Smith & Sons Funeral Home & Crematory in northeast Florida. He’s in his first few years leading his firm, following in the footsteps of his father, Mark, and uncle, John, who had followed in their father, Paul’s, footsteps. Through the pandemic-heavy years of 2020 and 2021, Peter’s progressive thinking and technology-forward approach allowed the family funeral home to thrive and gain market share throughout the communities they serve. Investing in a complete website redesign in 2019 is one decision Peter attributes to his early success. It transformed the website into a topnotch, “front door” virtual site that truly informs the consumer of the business’ unique designations, options, features and value proposition. The site presents the funeral home’s pricing strategically and transparently. The website also […]
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